CLEAN Green Business Growth: energy efficiency for businesses and home owners

CLEAN Green Business Growth is a Danish public-private partnership, which provides training for craftsmen on energy efficiency in buildings, creates jobs in the energy efficiency field and promotes energy efficiency among home owners and potential partners. It has generated income increases for the people who it has trained and contributed to increasing turnover among its partners.

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A Green Business Growth energy trailer promotes energy efficiency at targeted events. © Rikke Schak Toustrup-Jensen A Green Business Growth energy trailer promotes energy efficiency at targeted events. © Rikke Schak Toustrup-Jensen

" With training backing me up, I now know exactly what I need to put in and how to carry out energy renovation in the right way. It is important to choose the right solutions if energy renovation is to work as intended. If you do not have the knowledge required, in the worst-case scenario it can do more harm than good. "

Thomas Bork, Craftsman, Kolding, Denmark

The CLEAN Green Business Growth (CGBG) partnership comprises seven municipal authorities and 14 private partners involved in production, consultancy, entrepreneurship, finance and education. It trains craftsmen on energy efficiency in private, public and industrial buildings, as well as business development, networking and marketing.

The project has developed the 'master of energy' educational concept, which is aimed at enabling craftsmen to develop energy renovation businesses using the latest technical know-how. It consists of nine modules, lasting 40 hours, on energy saving opportunities, renovation, sales and business development.

In all, 225 people in eight municipalities have been trained. On completing the course, they can enhance their skills and business networks through participation at energy events, networking meetings on new technical solutions and further training.

Close cooperation between the partners and the craftsmen is one of the benchmarks for the project's success. Craftsmen are closely linked to the project, through which CGBG backs up the visibility of their new skills through campaigns and storytelling of craftsmen’s B2C cases, events and exhibitions in which the craftsmen can participate for free or with considerable discounts, loan of materials and the chance to participate in development projects.

Energy efficiency for home owners

The partnership also organises energy events at which craftsmen meet home owners to give them an overview of energy renovation, and let them know about its benefits and how to get started. A total of 20 events have been held, attended by over 20 000 people. In addition, 300 courses and evening classes have given home owners information on energy-saving opportunities in the home.

During 2010-13, when it received EU funding, CGBG created 165 jobs in energy efficiency in buildings and generated a 29 % income increase for the craftsmen who received training, as compared with flat turnover growth in the rest of Denmark in the same period. It also contributed to a total turnover increase of EUR 14 million for its partners.

Faster development of new products

CGBG enables businesses to increase their expertise so as to develop and sell products and solutions more quickly. Similarly, it supports research institutions in putting the results of their research into practice. This allows public authorities to implement new solutions and thereby foster jobs, growth and innovation, and meet environmental goals.

In 2012, CGBG was recognised as the best public-private partnership in Denmark for corporate social responsibility. The following year, it was named among the top five projects in the EU in Regio Stars Awards Green Business category, having renovated 2 200 family houses between 2010 and 2013, resulting in CO2 savings of 3 300 tonnes or 1.5 tonnes per house.

The project has continued since the end of the EU funding period and is now wholly financed by the partners and merged into CLEAN, Denmark’s strongest clean tech cluster. In 2013-14, a further 100 jobs were created. A strategy is in place to expand the partnership to cover a larger geographical area and to further co-operation across municipal and regional borders. Several new projects have been launched based on know-how and experience from CGBG, which also adds to the funding and scale-up of CGBG.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Green Business Growth” is EUR 1 500 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 768 500 through the “Innovation and Knowledge” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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